Casa

The Drive to Explore

The Casa or “Children’s House” for students between the ages of 3-6-years-old is a sensory-rich environment of discovery designed to promote a love of learning and deep concentration. The multi-age group provides opportunities for peer learning and mentorship, both in the classroom and on the playground. Through engaging, hands-on activities, students are provided with a careful balance between guided work and freedom of exploration in the five curriculum areas: Practical LifeSensorialLanguageMath, and Culture.

Practical Life

The Practical Life area is composed of exercises of everyday life such as pouring, cutting, and sweeping. As children at this age continue to adapt to activities of the home and family environment, these exercises draw them in to an understanding of how work happens. With activities for care of the self, care of the environment, and lessons in grace and courtesy, the Practical Life area is the foundation for all the other subjects in the classroom. These exercises aid the students with control and coordination of their movements, concentration, independence, self-esteem, and responsibility.

Sensorial

Dr. Montessori developed the Sensorial materials to refine the senses of children to better observe and receive information from the world around them. Exercises for the visual, tactile, auditory, gustatory, olfactory, baric, thermic, and stereognostic senses allow students to work with abstract ideas such as colour, length, volume, and temperature in the form of concrete activities. Through this work, students also learn the corresponding language for what they are discovering.

Language

The Language area focuses on the enrichment of spoken language, as well as the development of writing and reading. Students are presented with a broad and varied vocabulary applied to all areas of the curriculum, and they are encouraged to develop their conversational skills in both English and French. The French-speaking assistants provide immersive, conversational French, material-based vocabulary lessons, and uses music and song to encourage second language acquisition. Students are given the keys to express themselves in writing through classic Montessori materials such as the Sandpaper Letters and Moveable Alphabet, and progress to reading after the initial stages of writing are underway.

Math

Manipulative materials are utilized in the Mathematics curriculum to provide independent, hands-on experience with mathematical principles. These materials assist students in developing number sense and awareness of quantity in relation to numeric symbols, as well as a deep understanding of the decimal system and place value. Work is also undertaken to solve equations in all four operations, as well the memorization of addition/subtraction and multiplication/division tables. Students are also introduced to work with fractions.

Culture

Elements of the Culture curriculum are found within each of the four core subjects, introducing young students to customs, visual art, and music from around the world. The Montessori Bells are a foundational material for the student’s study of music, developing their ear and an understanding of intervals of sound through the C Major scale. Other Culture materials develop the student’s interest in physical and social geography, as well as providing an introduction to the study of botany and zoology.